All You Need to Know About Mead (Honey Wine)


So, you’ve found out about this fine drink and want to know what it is. Good for you, you are in for a ride. Mead might be your favorite drink after reading this.

What Is Mead?

The main ingredients are honey and water. When you want to make mead, you need to ferment the honey with the water, throw in some yeast, then add some fruity flavor by putting in some hops, grains, spices or actual fruit.

It takes very little time to brew the water and mead together, but the fermentation process is much longer. This can take up to 4 weeks. It isn’t much compared to how long it takes to make honey wine, for example, so it’s still a relatively simple drink to make. Check out “How To Make Wine At Home” to see the process of making wine.

What Does Mead (Honey Wine) Taste Like?

Since honey is the main ingredient, it’s very sweet. It’s perfect for those who enjoy beers that have some fruity taste but don’t like the bitterness of alcohol because you can barely feel it.

Yes, the latter is true; this drink can have up to 20% alcohol content.

But besides the sweetness, there isn’t much to talk about, as every kind of mead is different. It can be dry, light, or crisp. It can taste of apples, pears or even peach if that’s what you’re into. The possibilities are endless when it comes to mead.

Take a look at “The Most Popular Sweet Wines” for a list of sweet wines for you to try.

What Does Honey Wine (Mead) Look Like?

At first, you might mistake mead for beer, as it usually has the color of honey and is very light. But that’s not all the variety it has.

Some types of mead can be deep red or even purple. But some lunatics are also able to make a mead that is sky blue. It can shine in all the colors of the rainbow, which is why some people love it. This is also a reason why it can be a pretty good cocktail ingredient as well.

As for the rest, well… Let’s talk about the foam.

There is none. Or at the very least there’s not supposed to be any past the fermentation phase. But for those who are a bit disappointed, trust me, it’s better this way. This sugary drink might be too sweet for some, but that would be quadrupled if it had a foamy top. Consider this: you are drinking an insanely sweet mead, and there’s even some slimy/puffy foam on top. Yuck!

But there’s also carbonation. This aspect can vary as well because the final consistency will be the determining factor of whether a mead needs to be carbonated or not. It also makes the drink a little sour if added, but sometimes it’s required to avoid a syrup-like product.

Is Mead (Honey Wine) Right For Your Health?

Of course, it is!

Yeah, the alcohol might not be great for your liver, but we all know how great honey is. It promotes digestion, unlike many other alcoholic drinks. So you can still enjoy a couple of pitchers’ worth before you start feeling unwell.

Also, because of this, mead can be great for those who are struggling with constipation or diarrhea. So if you have either of these, then this drink might do some magic on you.

Like any other alcoholic beverage, it also reduces stress. That combined with the sugary taste, it can work for those who stress-eat. It still isn’t a healthy way to deal with the pressure that’s on you, but this at least has a few benefits.

It is also a recommended drink for those who suffer from hyperglycemia. (For those who don’t know: it’s a condition in which the sufferer has too much sugar or glucose in their blood. It happens when the body’s ability to produce insulin decreases.)

But of course, there’s always a pesky rumor spreading around about everything and mead isn’t an exception. Some people say that it causes blindness. Well, it certainly isn’t right, so if somebody ever tells you to not drink mead because of this reason then ask them to look it up. They will find nothing to support their claim.

This whole blindness thing only happens when the beverage you’re drinking contains toxic levels of methanol. That can happen to any homebrew drink. Although if that’s exactly what you’re doing, then I highly suggest you watch out for the methanol levels, as there were 383 methanol poisonings recorded between 2002 and 2010. Unfortunately, it still happens today, and the statistics are relevant.

Was Mead the Drink of Vikings?

Surprisingly, this fact is true. Vikings used to brew their mead, beer, and they imported wines from other countries. It was drunk during the three biggest celebrations: the celebration of the harvest, mid-winter, mid-summer. Mead was considered to help people strengthen their relationship with the gods and to build bonds in the community.

They weren’t nearly as primitive as they are made out to be today, especially considering their fine choice of drinks.

Vikings used to put hops into the mead for flavor, but usually, they left that out too and drank unflavored mead. Although it sure wasn’t bad, as this simple kind of mead is still very sweet, but in the time of Vikings, it used to be more like the beer made from ale.

Wonder how alcoholic beverages tasted back then? Probably horrible right!? Check out “How to Make Wine Taste Better” for tips on making a bottle of wine taste a bit better.

Is Mead (Honey Wine) More Like Wine or Beer Then?

Mead has attributes that could indicate that it’s both.

The process of fermentation, the flavoring, the consistency, the slight carbonation all resembles beer. But the alcohol content and the fact that it’s produced with different sweetness levels would make you think that it resembles wine.

But in the end, it’s neither. It’s mead, and honey wine is just a nickname. (After all, some languages call it honey beer. Like Hungarian.)

Mead is insanely sweet and tasty, so if somebody is getting used to drinking, then this can easily become their go-to beverage. But it’s great for anyone who doesn’t like bitter drinks. It also has health benefits, so there’s another reason to at least try it out if you still haven’t made up your mind about it. Be sure to take a look at “Most Common Fruity Wines” for a list of more wines with fruity flavors.

And to anyone that wants to brew mead at home, go for it! There’s nothing simpler and tastier, so even beginners can do it with simple tools.

Thank you for reading! Let us know in the comments below if you’ve ever tried mead (honey wine). Also, this post is sponsored by AmazonFresh! Enjoy unlimited grocery shipping for only $14.99/mo! Sign up for a FREE trial here— exclusively for our Wine on My Time Community.

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